Saturday, 7 December 2013

Going Gluten Free for life

Hello everyone! It's been a very busy Summer at Raquel's Homemade Headquarters! I have never cooked as much as I have in the past few months and now i want to share my delicious new recipes! I have all sorts! For vegetarians, for Vegans, for meat lovers, gluten free, dairy free, nut free, for eat-everythings... you name it...
Also, I have found out that i am, indeed, intolerant to gluten... that's right! Me! The person who, for years, cooked for gluten intolerant/ celiacs, is now one of them! It's almost like I finally joined the club!
A word of consolation - it's not that difficult... if you can cook...
In the past 5 months, I have gone on a quest to find the nicest gluten free foods in our high street' food chains... not much really... but...there is hope! The Nordic Bakery in London has a Gluten free sandwich and Pret a Manger has at least one soup gluten free daily... but not much else... I have recently sent a message to Pret a Manger on Facebook suggesting that they add at least one sandwich to their menu - they replied after 15 minutes saying they "couldn't promise anything but that they were going to forward my suggestion to the higher powers". Okay then.
 The problem with these sort of chains is that the staff isn't trained properly when it comes to allergies, and sometimes aren't helpful at all! By law, any food establishment needs to have a folder with allergy information. This folder must contain the ingredients used to make everything that's on their menu. So feel free to ask!
In supermarkets, I found the best gluten free bread - Genious brown bread! It tastes just like any other wheat bread and it's great for  sandwiches. I didn't find any nice cakes gluten free... and boy I tasted them ALL! I find them sickeningly sweet...
I have also found great gluten free pasta... from ... Sainsbury's!!! You only have two types - fuzzily or penne...better than nothing... Doves Farm pasta is also good but considerably more expensive than the Sainsbury's one and I didn't find a great difference.
So, this leads us to... baking! I tried a few types of gluten free flour... I love rice flour for brownies but found that Doves Farm plain flour and self-raising are the best! You can just pick any recipe that uses wheat flour, and substitute by one of these accordingly.

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